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Etsy Lets Buyers Round Up Orders for Charity

Etsy Lets Buyers Round Up Orders for Charity

Etsy is letting buyers round up orders for its Uplift Fund that gives to nonprofits across the US that work to remove barriers to entrepreneurship such as a lack of digital education and training, funding, and insufficient access to health insurance and paid leave.

“Starting today, shoppers in the United States who are purchasing from sellers with Etsy Payments can round up their order total to the nearest dollar and donate the change to Etsy’s Uplift Fund,” Etsy announced.

“For example, if a shopper’s order total is $25.55, they can round up their order to $26 and donate $0.45—and all that spare change can really add up. The Uplift Fund contributes to nonprofits that work to create paths to entrepreneurship for everyone.”

Etsy told sellers that shoppers will see the order total, including their donation, when they check out. But the company said nothing would change for sellers: “the order total, not including their donation, will be available in your payment account like any other order (minus any applicable seller fees, as usual).”

We asked Etsy if sellers would have to pay the payment-processing fees on the total amount (including the “spare change” portion), and if it would appear on their 1099-Ks. A spokesperson pointed us to the following response a staff member made in the comments section of the post in the Etsy Seller Handbook:

“The buyer’s donation is a completely separate charge to the order total amount. You won’t pay any fees on the donation amount. Nothing changes for you as the seller if a buyer donates when purchasing an item from your shop on Etsy. Any applicable seller fees will be calculated based on the order total as usual. The order total, not including any donation and minus any applicable fees, is what will be available in your payment account like any other order.”

You can read more about the program on the Etsy Seller Handbook.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

3 thoughts on “Etsy Lets Buyers Round Up Orders for Charity”

  1. Glad to know that Etsy would contribute to the non-prof, but should allow us to CHOOSE which charity we want to donate to like AMZ. AMZ Smiles has a list of charities you, the buyer (or seller) choose to contribute to. I don’t know about this Etsy charity, and may not agree with it.

    1. I agree with Chicago48, not interested unless I can choose the charity. There are many “charities” with which I disagree. That said, I’m glad to see they are not billing sellers for anything, and accepting the buyers’ round-up separately as a DONATION and not part of a purchase.

      Several years ago, a few restaurants in my area, trying to make it easier for themselves not handling change, started to “round up” (but never round down) customers’ bills. One unpleasant place pulled this on us without asking – so we asked for and got correct change, but not without them clearly being annoyed. As it turns out, rounding up a purchase price is ILLEGAL in New York State (and probably others).

      After that restaurant visit, I called the department of Tax & Finance and the rep told me the practice is illegal — the problem is SALES TAX. No matter how small the amount, it is against the law for a business to collect payment without collecting sales tax*. Therefore, if a Seller rounds a bill up (example, a $5.56 bill rounded up to $6.00) the Seller collects money in excess of the actual charge (in this case 4 cents). But because the 4 cents is not included on the invoice/sales slip, the establishment does not collect sales tax on it – they collect tax on a total that is four cents short! BUT since they demand you include it in your “payment,” they get the money. Which means the business collected money that was not due to be paid, and is keeping it, and not declaring it as income for tax purposes.

      * Of course exemptions apply – I’m just giving an example of what most transactions are like.
      ROFL – in this case, the loose change is a bit too loose!

      I am sure there must have been complaints, because the rounding-up stopped not long after it started.

  2. What would be wonderful is if Etsy actually GAVE OF THEMSELVES instead of trying to garner more attention. This is about SHOPPERS DONATING NOT ETSY. It’s always wonderful when people who need help get it, but when a large company is looking to further line their pockets at the expense of customers AND their Makers, it’s shameful in my eyes. Check out http://www.goimagine.com It’s a new platform SPECIFICALLY FOR HANDMADE GOODS AND 100% OF THEIR PROFITS GO TO CHARITY. There’s no lining billionaires pockets, no drop shipping, no selling of premade or imported products. And they care as much about the Makers as they do the Buyers because without BOTH, there would be NO GIVING.

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